Posts Tagged ‘cinnamon’

The World’s Best Coffee Cake

Monday, July 26th, 2010

That Pioneer Woman. Somebody should buy me her cookbook. Everything she makes looks delicious, even if it’s something I wouldn’t normally like. I also love her sense of humor. And how she’s not afraid of butter.

We’re eating healthier (most of the time) and so I don’t make these treats for David as often as I once did. And when I do, I try to make something that’s not too tempting for me. I managed to stay away from this coffee cake for most of the week, but I’m not sure it was due to lack of temptation. The cake was the perfect amount of sweetness, with great cinnamon and pecan flavors. It was slightly dense, and had the perfect slightly-crumbly texture. It’s got me dreaming of other things I could put in a coffee cake. So much for avoiding temptation.

I followed the directions from the site almost exactly. I don’t have a pastry cutter, so I put the dry ingredients in the food processor with the cold butter for those steps, and pulsed several times. Just enough to chop and distribute the butter, but not enough to remove the clumps. You want clumps! She recommends a large pan, and I would definitely agree. I used a deep white roasting dish from CorningWare, and the cake rose to the top of the pan. A regular 9×13 Pyrex would’ve been cutting it close for sure.

The World’s Best Coffee Cake (According to The Pioneer Woman)


  • 1-½ stick Butter, Softened
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 3 cups Flour, Sifted
  • 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1-¼ cup Whole Milk (I used 1 cup of 1% milk with 1/4 cup of cream, because oddly enough, I keep 1% AND heavy cream on hand, and never have whole milk)
  • 3 whole Egg Whites, Beaten Until Stiff


  • 1-½ stick Butter, Softened
  • ¾ cups Flour
  • 1-½ cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
  • 1-½ cup Pecans, Chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat egg whites and set aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar. Add flour mixture and milk alternately until combined. Don’t overbeat. Fold in beaten egg whites with a rubber spatula. Spread in a well-greased 9 x 13 (or LARGER!) baking pan. A cake pan with higher sides would be best.
  3. In the bowl of your food processor, pulse topping ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle all over the top.
  4. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until completely set. Enjoy!

Amish Friendship Bread

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

The other day, Leah came home from work with a Ziploc bag full of mush.

I looked at it skeptically.

She handed it to me, along with a single sheet of paper with printed instructions.

I looked at it skeptically.

“Will we do it?” she asked. “I mean, I can take it back to someone else, if you want, but it makes really good bread!”

I looked at it skeptically, but agreed.

After all, most of the instructions are “mash the bag,” and I like to bake anyhow.

That’s how I got my hands on an Amish Friendship Bread starter. The process is very simple. You follow the directions every day (most of the directions really are “mash the bag,” for the day) and then on the 10th day, you bake one part of it into loaves of sweet cinnamon bread, and divide the rest into new batches of starter to give to your friends. It’s kind of like a bread dough chain letter.

The resulting bread is very, very sweet (honestly, a little sweet for my tastes), but tasty. I opted to add raisins, which went well. Now that I’ve made a batch, I can start to see how I might make some adaptations to the next batch. The bread is moist, with a muffin-like crumb. I think it would make very good muffins, actually. The recipe below are the steps that accompanied my batch of starter.

amish bread

Amish Friendship Bread

Amish Friendship Bread

Please Note: As the bread starter rests over the next 10 days, air will build up in the Ziploc bag. This is normal. When you notice air building up int he bag, let it out. Do NOT refrigerate the bread starter.The bread will rise and ferment in the Ziploc bag.

Day 1: Do Nothing
Day 2: Mash the Bag
Day 3: Mash the Bag
Day 4: Mash the Bag
Day 5: Mash the Bag
Day 6: Add the following to the bag and mash it all together:

  • 1 Cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 Cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 Cup of milk

Day 7: Mash the Bag
Day 8: Mash the Bag
Day 9: Mash the Bag
Day 10: Follow the Instructions below to make Amish Friendship Bread

Pour the entire contents of the bag into a non-metal bowl. Add 1 1/2 Cups of flour, 1 1/2 Cups of sugar and 1 1/2 Cups of milk. Mix well.

Measure out 4 separate batters of 1 cup each into (4) one gallon Ziploc bags. Keep a starter for yourself and give the other bags to (3) friends along with a copy of this recipe.

Note: If you keep a starter for yourself, you will be baking every 10 days. This bread is very good and makes a great gift. Only the Amish know how to create the starter, so if you give them all away, you’ll have to wait until someone gives you a starter back. Should this recipe not be passed on to a friend on the first day, be sure to tell them which day the bag is on when you give it to them.

Baking Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

1) To the remaining batter in the bowl, add 3 eggs, 1 cup oil, 1/2 cup milk, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanillla, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 2 cups flour, 1 large box instant vanilla pudding (1 cup raisins or nuts optional)

2. Grease two large loaf pans. In a small bowl, mix an additional 1/2 cup sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Dust the greased pans with half of this mixture.

3. Pour the batter evenly into the two pans. Sprinkle the remaining sugar/ cinnamon mixture.

4. Bake for one hour. Cool bread until it loosens evenly from the sides of the pan. Turn onto plates. Or bake mini-muffins for 20 minutes, regular muffins for 40 minutes.

Note: If you google for Amish Friendship Bread, you can find recipes for starters and even kits you can buy with mix for starter in them. We inherited this one, so I don’t know how to tell you to make your own. Apparently, I’ll have new batches of starter every 10 days or so, though, so if you’d like one of your own, just let me know!

Saturday Morning Cinnamon Rolls

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

There’s a lot of David’s favorite foods floating around this blog these days. The fajitas, the potica, the bruschetta…and now cinnamon rolls. David loves cinnamon rolls. But really, who doesn’t?

Along with potica, this was one of those things that we were waiting for more counter space. Now that we have it, I finally decided to bake some up. I borrowed this recipe from Kristen at Dine & Dish. The recipe was relatively easy to follow, and the cinnamon rolls were extremely tasty. I’m interested in trying other recipes, to see what difference they make in the final product, but overall, I was very happy with this recipe, and I probably would make it again.

Saturday Morning Cinnamon Rolls
Adapted from Dine & Dish

For the dough:

  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar + 1 teaspoon
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 6 cups flour half all-purpose and half bread flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup salted or unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons salt (cut down to 1 teaspoon if using salted butter)

For the filling:

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. Proof yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water, with 1 teaspoon sugar added; Set aside for five minutes.
  2. Put milk, sugar, salt, and about one cup flour in a bowl of a stand mixer, and beat with the paddle attachment until well-mixed.
  3. Add eggs and yeast mixture and a couple cups of flour and beat again, until combined.
  4. Switch to the dough hook. Add the soft butter and the rest of the flour, adding the rest of flour very slowly, while the mixer is running. Continue needing with the dough hook until all flour has been incorporated and dough is firm.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a floured counter, and knead the ball of dough until it is smooth and satiny, adding only enough to keep if from sticking.
  6. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease all sides.
  7. Let rise in warm place until double, about an hour,covering bowl with a towel or plastic wrap.
  8. Punch down, kneading for about 30 seconds to remove bubbles; Cover and let rise again.
  9. Punch down dough again.
  10. Cut with a knife into four parts, and shape into balls; Roll each ball into a 8 X 14 inch rectangle.
  11. Spread the dough with about 3 tablespoons butter, leaving far edge unbuttered.
  12. Spread with one fourth the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  13. Roll up; roll tightly; Pinch edges; Cut into slices.
  14. Place in greased pan and let rise until double in size, 45-60 minutes.
  15. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
  16. Frost with softened cream cheese frosting.

Note: This recipe makes about 2 dozen cinnamon rolls—enough that David’s been eating them for breakfast every morning since! He’s not complaining though.

The original recipe called for all of the mixing and kneading to be done by hand. I adapted it for the Stand Mixer. I also sprinkled two of the dough quarters with chopped walnuts, for a change of pace. They were good, but David thinks “pecans would have been better,” so we’ll probably try that next time.